MiMfg Magazine March 2017 - Page 10

10 MiMfg Magazine March 2017

Technology is the Foundation

for Your Future Growth

By Michael Maddox • ASK
In today ’ s marketplace , manufacturers who embrace technology have a competitive advantage over those who do not . Technology has shown it can enable small and mid-sized manufacturers to produce higher quality products , at a lower cost , in a more efficient way .
Additive Manufacturing ( commonly referred to as 3D printing ) could prove to be the most important new technology trend in the industry in 2017 . New advancements in this technology , coupled with price decreases , have made this an area every manufacturer must consider .
While most manufacturers are aware of 3D printing , employers should look also look into two other emerging trends :
• Nanotechnology : This cutting-edge tech deals with dimensions and tolerances less than 100 nanometers . A nanometer is one billionth of a meter ! This technology has evolved from use in aerospace and biomedical field to producing lightweight , stronger material across all manufacturing sectors . As an added incentive , this technology is proving to be more cost efficient through energy savings and waste reduction .
• Next-Gen Robotics : Like all technology , robotics are becoming smarter , faster , and cheaper over time . Advances are allowing robots with more “ human ” characteristics , such as dexterity and machine learning , to assist their human counterparts on the facility floor in ways never before imagined .
Technology advances hold the promise of a competitive advantage , yet only companies with a firm IT foundation will be able to achieve it . Throw away the belief of technology as a necessary evil . By welcoming these new trends into your business with open arms , your business can reinvent itself for the next generation .

Every company should expect to be breached at some point . You can mitigate the damage through enhanced and proactive cyber security solutions .

A solid IT infrastructure is an often neglected , but essential component of a comprehensive growth strategy . Begin by assessing the current state of your systems :
• Evaluate the usefulness of your hardware , software and processes . How are they contributing or detracting from your company ’ s objectives ?
• Assess your existing cyber security strategy . How comprehensive is it ? Every company should expect to be breached at some point . You can mitigate the damage through enhanced and proactive cyber security solutions . With 60 percent of small and midsized manufacturers closing their doors within six months of a breach , planning ahead could make all the difference for your business and employees .

Make 2017 the year to reexamine your IT infrastructure and firm up the foundation . Connect with a qualified technology partner and take the first step toward achieving the competitive advantages technology can bring . 6

Mike Maddox is president of ASK . He may be reached at 517-999-0224 or mmaddox @ justask . net .
Get More ! Learn more from Mike Maddox , Rebecca Taylor and other experts at the MFG Forum in Novi on April 25 . See page 20 or > Events for details .